McDonald’s Expands Smart Meal Program

DENVER Officials from McDonalds and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment came together today to announce the expansion of the Smart Meal program to include Smart Meal for Kids. The Smart Meal for Kids program was developed by the departments Colorado Physical Activity and Nutrition Program to help consumers quickly identify balanced meal choices for kids. The media event was held at the McDonalds located on the northwest corner of I-25 and Belleview in Greenwood Village.

To warrant a Smart Meal for Kids seal, each meal must contain the following:

A minimum of two servings of beans or whole grains, fruits or vegetables (or may substitute one serving with low-fat milk or milk equivalent product)
400-600 calories*

No more than 30 percent total fat (or 13-20 grams)

No more than 10 percent of total calories from saturated fat (or 4-7 grams)

No more than 0.5 grams of trans fat (no added or artificial trans fat)
600-800 milligrams or less of sodium*

* Calorie and sodium ranges are necessary to represent respective ages (4-8 and 9-13 years) in children and are reflective of both the U.S. Dietary Guidelines and the American Heart Association.

Denver metro area McDonalds will promote three Smart Meal for Kids Happy Meals, available at 110 Denver metro area restaurants. The three Happy Meals meet Smart Meal for Kids requirements and customers can simply order Apple Dippers instead of French fries and Low Fat White Milk or 100 percent Apple Juice instead of soda to make a Happy Meal a Smart Meal for Kids. McDonalds becomes the first quick-service restaurant, both nationally and in Colorado, to offer Smart Meal for Kids to its customers.
One of our goals through our Colorado Physical Activity and Nutrition Program is to reduce obesity and related chronic diseases to promote healthy lifestyles among Coloradans for both the adult population and children, and to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables, said Shana Patterson, nutrition coordinator for the program. We also know that other organizations realize the impact this type of program can have on an individuals choice, and we are pleased to receive support from both the Colorado chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Colorado Dietetic Association for the Smart Meals Kid initiative.

Across the state of Colorado, more than 189 restaurant and college campus locations currently are participating in the Smart Meal program. One of these restaurants is Bombay Bowl, a fast-casual restaurant featuring fresh, on-the-go Indian-inspired bowls, roti rolls, salads and more, made with fresh herbs and spices, freshly grilled meats, flavor-packed sauces and chutneys (Indian salsas), soft tofu, and sauted vegetables and shrimp. Were excited to show that you dont have to sacrifice taste to be healthy, says founder Amar Singh. One suggested smart meal for the kids is the rice bowl with grilled chicken, sauted vegetables and a mango smoothie. To obtain additional nutritional information about Bombay Bowls menu, visit
Because many Coloradans eat at fast-food restaurants, it is important that better meal options be made available and promoted, said Jillian Jacobellis, director of the Prevention Services Division at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. By having both adult and childrens meals that qualify as Smart Meals, Denver metro McDonalds restaurants and Bombay Bowl are offering designated food choices that make it easy for consumers to make better food selections.
McDonalds is pleased to again partner with the state of Colorado with the debut of the Smart Meal for Kids program, said local Denver McDonalds owner/operator Tom Carlson. With this new initiative, families can still enjoy the fresh, great-tasting Happy Meals they love with additional options like our three Smart Meal for Kids offerings across the Denver metro area.

The three McDonalds Happy Meals that meet the Smart Meal for Kids designation are the Hamburger, Apple Dippers and Low Fat White Milk; the Cheeseburger, Apple Dippers and 100% Apple Juice; and the 4-Piece Chicken McNuggets, Apple Dippers and Low Fat White Milk. To obtain additional nutritional information about McDonalds menu, visit
The Colorado Physical Activity and Nutrition Program seeks to achieve its goals by building a comprehensive community approach to good health that supports individuals throughout their lifespan while involving all sectors of the community.

While Colorado is considered to be one of the least obese states, the health department reports the prevalence of obesity is rising in concert with national rates, putting a large portion of the states population at risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension and asthma.

In 2008, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System reported that more than 55 percent of Coloradans were obese or overweight. That same year, the child health survey reported that more than 28 percent of Colorados children ages 2-14 were overweight or obese, which falls short of the Healthy People 2010 goal of 5 percent for overweight status.

The Colorado Physical Activity and Nutrition Program is expanding Smart Meal and Smart Meal for Kids to all interested restaurants and other institutions throughout Colorado.

Source: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment